Best Homeowners Insurance Companies for 2021 | The Simple Dollar

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies for 2021 | The Simple Dollar

Your house is not merely a brick-and-mortar structure. Besides providing you with shelter and privacy, your home also gives you a sense of identity and belonging. It is your sanctuary, keeping you secure and centered. And the best way to protect your abode is by getting it insured.


Choosing a home insurance company is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make as a homeowner. While the national average cost of home insurance is $1,211 according to the Insurance Information Institute, home insurance can save you thousands more by protecting your home and belongings. But the market is flooded with insurance companies and each of them has its own pros and cons. Insurance is personal and what works for one person may not work for another. Whether you are for the most comprehensive coverage, the cheapest policies or the best customer service, the choice will depend on your individual needs and budget.

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Research methodology

To make our recommendations for the best homeowners insurance companies in 2021, we used our proprietary SimpleScore system to rate insurers on accessibility, coverage options, customer service, discounts, and support. The research was supported by inputs from experts from renowned third-party market research companies such as J.D. Power and Better Business Bureau and information from the national regulatory organization National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Our recommendations and advice for homeowners insurance are developed after evaluating quotes, complaints and customer reviews from the past several years to establish the trustworthiness and reliability of the insurer.

The good news? Our top-rated homeowners insurance companies offer some of the best home insurance rates in the industry. Each provider has something different to offer, so make sure to compare quotes from multiple companies to find the best homeowners insurance value.

The best 6 home insurance companies of 2021

Best overall value – Amica

Amica is the small-town star who made it big on Broadway with that down-to-earth charm. It’s a relatively small insurer, but an industry leader in customer service.

Amica is a relatively small insurance company, but its smaller size allows it to provide customers with personalized service and some of the best home insurance rates in the industry. When rated for its customer satisfaction, Amica receives a 5 out of 5 from J.D. Power.

Its competitive pricing is due to the insurer’s structure. Amica is a mutual insurance company, meaning it does not have stockholders to answer to. When you have a policy with Amica, you own a small piece of the company. As a result, you can get back up to 20% of your annual premium with a home insurance dividend policy. You can also save with discounts like installing an alarm system, bundling other insurance policies, opting into auto pay and remaining claim-free for three years.

Best for affordability – Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance has some home insurance rate lock features that may be ideal if you’re on a tight budget.


3 / 5.0

SimpleScore Erie Insurance 3

Erie Insurance offers a wide range of insurance types — home, auto, condo, rental, mobile home, motorcycle, boat and life. Not only will loyal customers benefit from multi-policy discounts, but also some of Erie’s customer services. For example, life insurance customers can utilize Erie’s retirement planning financial service.

Savings opportunities are pretty limited. Erie only has three discounts — multi-policy, advance quote and a discount for fire, burglar and sprinkler systems installed. You can lock in your homeowners insurance rate to avoid any surprise increase in price in the future. For those on a budget, knowing what to expect gives you peace of mind. Your policy comes with some free perks thrown in too, such as animal coverage and theft or loss.

Best for in-app service – State Farm

State Farm not only pays your bills but also plays matchmaker. With qualified claims, its Premier Service Program will set you up with a contractor for repairs during claims.

  • Excellent for standard coverage
  • Ranks low in claims satisfaction

State Farm goes above and beyond just reimbursing you for home insurance claims with its Premier Service Program. If your home needs any repairs, the program will connect you to one of its participating contractors for water mitigation, flooring, general contracting or roofing services. The resulting workmanship is guaranteed for five years.

If you live in a newer home, you can earn higher discounts for impact-resistant roofing and a home security system. State Farm lacks in coverage add-ons, however. Other companies offer interesting options like home office insurance, hurricane or eco-friendly material reimbursements, but State Farm sticks with pretty standard extended liability or umbrella insurance options. State Farm not only pays your bills but also plays matchmaker. With qualified claims, its Premier Service Program will set you up with a contractor for repairs during claims.

Best for claim-free rewards and premium protection – Allstate

Allstate is the valedictorian of insurance companies — it goes the extra mile to keep you informed and encourages your extracurriculars.

Allstate has some of our favorite online tools and resources. Its website hosts thorough information on policies, claims and common questions about insurance. The Allstate Common & Costly Claims tool will provide detailed information on the most common claims and most expensive claims in your particular zip code. This could help inform the policy you design for your home based on common issues in your neighborhood.

Allstate’s long list of optional coverages include some unique add-ons, including electronic data recovery, green improvement reimbursement and home-sharing. If you’d like to replace damaged items or rebuild after an event with energy-efficient or eco-friendly options, the additional green improvement reimbursement coverage will make it possible. Then there’s the home-sharing option. If you rent your home on Airbnb or other home-sharing apps, your home and property will be covered against any losses. However, in 2020, Allstate dropped home insurance coverage for California residents in wildfire-prone areas.

Best for simple policies – Farmers

Like In-N-Out, Farmers has a small but mighty menu. You’ll find three options for your policy structure, with some room to customize (no tomatoes, please).

For customers who get easily overwhelmed by options, Farmers keeps it simple. There are three basic homeowners insurance packages: Standard, Enhanced and Premier. Each package has a set of coverage amounts and add-ons. The Standard package is designed for new homeowners, its leaner and focused more on affordability. The Enhanced and Premier policies have higher policy limits and additional features, which may be worthwhile for higher-value homes.

Farmers Insurance is ideal for customers who prefer to work one-on-one with a local agent. It has solid customer service ratings and the local touch is likely to personalize that experience even more.

Best for discounts – Liberty Mutual

Fans of extreme couponing will enjoy that Liberty Mutual has discounts galore in its policies.


4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore Liberty Mutual 4.4

Liberty Mutual is one of the few providers to provide homeowners with hurricane coverage, which customers in the Southeast will greatly appreciate. Its coverages are best for high net worth customers with valuables and assets that may need additional riders. Liberty Mutual also has inflation protection that will automatically adjust your coverage limits as the economy changes.

Liberty Mutual has the most opportunities for discounting your policy. You can receive a discount for going paperless, opting into autopay, holding multiple policies, insuring your home to 100% of the replacement cost, having a new roof, purchasing a new home or recently renovating a home, getting a quote before your current policy expires, installing safety systems and remaining claim-free for five years (time with your previous insurer counts).

What is the average cost of home insurance?

Cheapest States Top 10 Cheapest Average Annual Premiums Most Expensive States Top 10 Most Expensive Average Annual Premiums
Oregon $677 Louisiana $1,968
Utah $692 Florida $1,951
Idaho $730 Texas $1,893
Nevada $755 Oklahoma $1,885
Wisconsin $779 Kansas $1,584
Arizona $825 Rhode Island $1,551
Delaware $833 Mississippi $1,537
Washington $854 Colorado $1,495
Ohio $862 Massachusetts $1,488
Maine $882 Nebraska $1,481

Do you need home insurance?

Home insurance is not legally mandated but if you own your house, there is no reason why you should not insure it. Mortgage lenders usually need proof of insurance before financing a property, so if you’re taking out a loan, you will most likely be required to get home insurance. Over the course of being a homeowner, you are going to face several expenses that can burn a hole in your pockets if you are not insured. Once you have your property insured, you can depend on your coverage to pay for any and all listed expenses, from weather damage to theft to sewer and water backup.

Different properties require different types of insurance. If you own a condominium, you will need condo insurance. If you live in a rented house but want to protect your belongings, renters insurance is best for you. Ask your insurance provider about the details of the insurance your property might need.

What affects homeowners insurance premiums?

There are many factors that could affect your home insurance rate. Some of the most significant include:

  • Replacement cost
  • Deductible amount
  • Credit score
  • Location
  • Home condition and age
  • Your area’s vulnerability to weather events such as windstorms and hail
  • Claim history
  • Roof condition

The list above isn’t exhaustive, but it shows you how insurance companies take several factors into consideration when setting home insurance premiums. Higher deductibles can give you lower monthly premiums. Location can have a positive or negative impact. For example, if your home is close to a fire station you may get a lower premium. Also, different insurance companies will weigh these factors differently, which increases the importance of comparing rates from several companies. Chances are if you don’t get multiple quotes you’re going to end up paying too much. Consider some of the following ways to lower your home insurance premiums: choose a higher deductible, ask for discounts for safety devices, perform necessary home maintenance and home repairs, get a discount for bundling with other policies.

[ Next: Home Insurance Terms You Should Know About ]

How to compare home insurance quotes

If you own your house, you probably need to insure it, especially when you have a mortgage and want to have peace of mind if sudden damages or repair expenses occur. However, insurance is state-regulated and each state has its own prices for policies, regardless of the provider or coverage.

To be able to compare insurance quotes from multiple companies, it is recommended that you first find out the average rate in your state from the following chart. The prices offered by different insurers can either be higher or lower than the average, and the best way to compare is by collecting quotes from multiple companies. Remember to compare not just the cost but also what you get for the price to make sure you don’t sacrifice the coverage you need for a lower premium. Other things to compare are customer satisfaction scores, the financial strength of the company and third-party ratings and reviews.

Tips to find the best home insurance

Shop around

Your insurance shopping should ideally begin with quotes from multiple companies, even those that seem unlikely options. As stated earlier, when comparing the cost of the premium, don’t forget to take into account the coverages and perks you will get for the price. The background of the company, its history of paying claims, customer reviews and ease of communication are some of the factors you should consider. Since prices tend to rise and fall all the time, shopping around every year is a good way to find the most reasonable price.

Make use of discounts

A variety of discounts are available to homeowners. The easiest being a bundling discount. If you already have auto or life insurance from a certain company, find out if buying home insurance from them will result in a price cut. Depending upon the insurer, you can save up to 25 percent on a combined annual premium. Other discounts include those for a new construction, being a current or retired member of the armed forces, raising the deductible, having more than one residence insured by the same company, being claims-free for a number of years and paying your annual premium in full during renewal.

Evaluate your location

Insurance rates depend on the geographical location of the house to a great extent. Places that are vulnerable to weather damage from storms, hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding usually have a higher cost of insurance.  If you live in a region where your house could be damaged by storms or rising water, look for an insurer that covers weather damage at no extra cost. Most home insurance companies don’t offer flood coverage, which can be purchased separately.

Secure your house

When your house is built with fire-resistant materials and equipped with safety features like smoke and burglar alarms, shatterproof glass and storm shutters, it makes a good impression on insurance companies and may help you get a lower premium. Wherever possible, upgrading your house to fortify security is recommended for getting better home insurance rates.

Home insurance guide: How does it work?

Homeowners insurance provides you with coverage to replace or repair your home and its belongings, if they are damaged from unordinary events (such as theft or fire). Homeowners insurance will also help cover costs if a visitor is hurt in your home.

But first, is home insurance mandatory?

Usually if you’re buying a house, you’re required to buy homeowners insurance before you can continue the sale. Remember, sometimes lenders will suggest insurers to you, but you don’t have to choose one of them.

However, if you don’t get home insurance on your own, your mortgage lender will assign you its choice of homeowners coverage, usually for a much higher cost.

What does home insurance cover?

Dwelling: The policy pays to rebuild or repair your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters listed in your policy, including fire, lightning or hail.

Personal property: Any items inside your home, including furniture, clothes, musical instruments and electronics are also covered for the disasters mentioned or if they’re stolen. If you have many expensive items, such as jewelry or art, you may need additional coverage to protect the cost of the valuables.

Liability: Liability coverage protects you financially against lawsuits if a visitor is injured in your home or if a family member causes damages to someone else. It includes your pets — if they bite someone who visits or they damage something inside someone else’s home, your liability insurance will step in.

Cheap is good but you’ll also want to look beyond the price and know what is, and is not, covered by each policy.

When you are purchasing cheap home insurance for the first time, the different parts of the policy might be confusing. Open any home insurance policy in front of you and you will see the following parts.

First comes the policy or declarations section, explaining the crux of your coverage. This includes names, addresses, dates, costs, numbers and definitions of insurance jargon.

  • Section I is all about property coverages, namely dwelling, personal property and loss of use.
  • Section II includes personal liability coverages, underlining the rights, duties and responsibilities of both the insured and the insurer.

Note that your coverage will depend on the kind of policy you choose and the amount of protection included in it.

Your home insurance policy may have either open or named peril coverage. The former protects you against any loss to the insured property except those that are clearly excluded, while the latter covers only the damages explicitly specified in the policy. For anything outside of what is listed, customers usually have to pay extra.

[ Read: How to Switch Home Insurance Providers ]

Open peril coverage tends to be expensive because of the comprehensive protection, and if you’re looking for lower premium rates, a named peril coverage plan is the one to choose, even though you may have to opt for added coverage if and when needed.

A significant factor differentiating one coverage plan from the other is the way you are compensated in the event of a loss. Some insurers pay actual cash value, after taking into account depreciation that has occurred after a peril (specifically in the case of roof damage). Many insurers pay the replacement cost, which is the full amount to repair or replace the damaged property, irrespective of its condition before the peril. Home insurance covers a few different categories:

Does a home insurance policy have a deductible?

Homeowners insurance comes with a deductible — an amount that you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance pays for the rest. Typical homeowners deductibles can be $500 or $1,000. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium may be (and your monthly payment). When an incident in one of these categories (or one of the supplemental coverages you add on), you file a claim with your insurer and they’ll assess the pay out or reimbursement.

What is actual cash value vs. replacement cost?

The amount of coverage you get determines the magnitude of the risk the insurance company will absorb in the event something happens. Depending on your policy, you’re paid in one of two ways: actual cash value or replacement cost.

Actual cash value

This is when your insurance company factors in depreciation when determining how much money to give you after a covered peril has occurred. This often comes into play after roof damage.

Replacement cost

This is when your insurance company pays you the full amount to replace the destroyed or damaged property after a covered peril, regardless of its condition or age prior to the event.

The advantage of an actual cash value policy is that it’s cheaper than a replacement cost policy. It’s also a good option if your home or roof is in new condition, though you will want to upgrade to a replacement cost policy after a few years.

The advantage of a replacement cost policy is that you never have to worry about the gap between what your insurance company gives you and the actual cost of replacing the damaged or destroyed item. However, the downside is that it does cost more than an actual cash value policy. You can do some calculations to see how much it would cost to rebuild your home and which type of policy would be best for you.

What is not covered by homeowners insurance?

As much as insurance is meant to cover the things you can’t plan for, the inverse is also true: you need to plan for the things insurance doesn’t cover. There are certain situations unlikely to be covered by any insurance company — situations that can leave you on the hook for a lot of money if you aren’t prepared.

[ See: How to File a Home Insurance Claim ]

Here are some of the most common situations that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Flooding
  • Earth movement caused by earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes
  • Wind damage
  • Simultaneous events, such as a storm that causes both wind and flood damage.
  • Maintenance neglect (burst pipes, mold, ordinance changes, termites, etc.)
  • Nuclear accidents
  • Acts of war

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What type of home insurance do you need?

Which type of home insurance you get will depend on your needs, the type of home you have and how much you want to pay. Before deciding you will need to know these things about your house:

  • Decide what type of home insurance is best for you. You will need to know the following.
    • The specifics of your home.
    • You’ll need to know details like the age and square footage of your home, as well as the replacement cost and information about siding and roof types.
  • Decide how much liability insurance you’ll need in the event someone is injured on your property.
  • Combine these two to decide how much coverage you think you need.

Types of home insurance

Types of home insurance

Also called a basic form policy, HO-1 protects your home from the ten perils: Damage from aircraft, damage from vehicles, explosions, fire or smoke, hail and windstorms, lightning, riot and civil commotion, theft, vandalism, and volcanic eruption. This type of home insurance usually doesn’t protect any of your belongings inside the home, nor does it offer any liability protection.

Also called a broad form policy, an HO-2 policy protects you against every peril in the HO-1 policy and a few more, including: accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam, falling objects, freezing of household systems (including AC or heating), sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current, sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, or bulging of pipes, and weight of ice, snow or sleet. Unlike an HO-1 policy, the HO-2 policy also comes with liability and personal property coverage.

Called a special form policy, HO-3s are the most common type of homeowners insurance policy. An HO-3 covers every peril listed in an HO-2 and any other type of peril unless it’s specifically excluded (such as flooding). HO-3s protect any attached structures to your home (such as a deck or car garage) and your personal belongings. It also comes with liability protection.

This is the tenant’s form. This type of insurance is also called renters insurance. It comes with liability protection and protects a renter’s personal belongings. It does not cover the building that is being rented. It usually comes with additional living expenses.

This is called a comprehensive form. An HO-5 policy is much like an HO-3 policy in that it is an open-peril policy— meaning it covers any type of peril that isn’t specifically mentioned. Common exclusions include earthquakes, floods, infestations, foundation problems, intentional damage, landslides, mold, rot, mudslides, neglect, pets, rust and corrosion, war, nuclear damage and water damage.

This is the condo form. HO-6s are intended for condo owners and come with liability and personal property coverage. Though they don’t cover the entire building, they do cover the walls, floors and ceiling.

This is the mobile home form. Much like an HO-3, it protects mobile and manufactured homes.

This is the older home form. It’s also similar to an HO-3 policy, but it addresses special concerns that come with older homes. Often historic, landmark homes have an HO-8 policy.

How to choose the best homeowners insurance for you

  1. Start the shopping process by gathering a list of potential home insurance companies and looking into their background. Since you’re already here you can read our guide and get many of these details from our research.
  2. Look particularly at current policyholder satisfaction scores, and find out how the claims response for each insurer works. You want to know if you’ll be dealing with licensed adjusters or a third-party call center. Claims should be paid in a fair and timely manner.
  3. Once you’ve narrowed the list to 3-4 insurance providers get quotes from all of them. Make sure to include any company you already have insurance through (auto, boat, etc.) since you should be able to get a bundling discount from them.
  4. Evaluate the probability of a natural disaster. How at-risk is your area for natural disasters like flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes? If your house could be damaged by falling trees or rising water, make sure you find a homeowners insurance carrier that covers these things in its basic coverage policies. While homeowners insurance may cover damage from thunderstorms, like hail damage, it may not cover flooding that seeps into your basement and damages your personal property.
  5. Lastly, ensure that the homeowners insurance company makes it easy to file claims. If it’s difficult to submit pictures, documents and evidence, it soon becomes a hassle to use your policy. Especially during a stressful time, you want to make sure that you can communicate and file claims with as little stress as possible.

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Homeowners insurance FAQs

The amount of your homeowners insurance coverage depends on your home’s replacement cost and the value of the items inside your home. You may need to conduct an inventory of your belongings for the most accurate amount for your homeowners insurance.

Unfortunately, no. Appliances are covered under home warranty policies, which are applicable when an appliance’s warranty runs out then fails or needs repairs.

Yes, your premiums will increase after you file a claim. Because of this, you may want to think twice before you file one. Weigh the cost of a potential increase in monthly payments, versus the cost for you to fix the issue yourself. This is especially important to consider if the claim won’t fulfill your deductible, which you’ll need to meet before insurance covers anything. Some insurers do offer a claim forgiveness feature which may be lenient on your first claim or will dismiss some after a few years of being claim-free.

Ask the Experts

1. What are some things homeowners can do to have maximum discount opportunities?

Homeowners need to first determine what is the right coverage for their needs. Once they decide what coverage is best for them, there are many ways they can save money. Listed below are things homeowners can do to maximize discounts.

  • Purchase umbrella or bundled policies
  • Develop, update or reevaluate home inventory lists
  • Install or increase security systems
  • Reduce or remove high liability property, if it is not being used (e.g. trampolines, pools and unsafe structures like dilapidated sheds)
  • Raise deductibles
  • We also encourage homeowners to shop around if they want to explore coverage options and related costs. Additional discounts could also be available, so a homeowner’s best bet is talking to their agent or company representative. Homeowners should take a look at the information provided at Tips are available on how to create a home inventory, keep your home in top shape and select the right coverage options.

    2. How would you advise people to choose and/or adjust their deductible amounts?

    A higher deductible reduces your insurance cost, and a lower deductible raises the cost of your insurance. If you’re looking to pay less for insurance, you could consider raising your deductible but be advised that you will need to pay more if you have a claim. Not surprisingly, purchasing more financial protection has a related cost. Every homeowner should determine what options, including the amount of the deductible, make the most sense.

    Also, be sure to take a look at specific deductibles in your policy that may apply as a percentage of your home’s insured value. These deductibles are specific to a windstorm, named storm, and hurricane-related claims and are typically 1%-10% of the insured value of your home. These specific deductibles help decrease the cost of your insurance, but you should be aware of the deductible that may apply if you have a claim.

    Many homeowners insurance carriers have suspended service cancellations, waived late fees or applied percentage discounts on insurance policies in response to the pandemic outbreak. However, many people are now working from home and may wonder if their homeowners insurance covers equipment needed to work. Things like monitors, computers and other office equipment may be covered under home insurance or at least your company’s business insurance policy.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the home insurance providers we recommend. Contact us at with comments or questions.

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